The Archons of the Pacific Northwest in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco hosted His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America on his first trip to the area, along with His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and His Grace Bishop Ioannis of Phocaea (Metropolis Chancellor), at a luncheon on Saturday, September 24, 2022. The hierarchs were visiting to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of St. Demetrios Church in Seattle, WA.
Following a Doxology at the Church of the Assumption in Seattle, the luncheon was held in that parish’s community center attended by area clergy, parish council and Philoptochos leaders, other guests, and Archons from Seattle and Portland, along with spouses.
Archbishop Elpidophoros offered the invocation, and the three Seattle Archons, Clifford Argue, Paul Plumis, and John T. John, welcomed everyone, made introductions, and provided a brief explanation of “What is an Archon?”
After a delicious lunch featuring Pacific Northwest salmon, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, addressing the Archbishop stated that the Pacific Northwest Archons “are all dedicated stewards of the church who have offered of themselves in so many ways, and are ardent defenders of the faith and supporters of the Mother Church. We just prayed the Doxology and, indeed, we are thankful for God for this opportunity to be together and have Greek Orthodox faithful from throughout the greater Seattle area – and beyond – to be here and show our love and respect to Your Eminence on your first Archpastoral visit to the Pacific Northwest. There is no greater power than our common prayer as we did today, praising the Lord with one heart and one voice.”
Archon John T. John noted that the training of young men to be priests at the Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA is of critical importance to the future of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Fr. A. Homer Demopulos, of blessed memory, was the longest-serving proistamenos of St. Demetrios for 25 years, fully one fourth of the existence of the parish. Upon his untimely passing in 1993, his family established the “Rev. Fr. A. Homer and Presvytera Artemis Demopulos Scholarship Fund” to support third and fourth-year students who are committed to being ordained after graduation. To help this worthy cause, the Archons of the Pacific Northwest along with several other friends from St. Demetrios contributed to a special gift presented to the Archbishop in the form of a check for $17,000 to be applied to the Demopulos scholarship fund at Holy Cross.
After thanking the Archons for putting together the scholarship gift, Archbishop Elpidophoros declared “Anytime that I find myself in the company of the Order of Saint Andrew, our much beloved and deeply cherished body of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate here in America, I feel tremendous pride and great happiness.”
His Eminence continued “You Archons, though, willingly take up the cross of the Martyric Church of Constantinople, and you walk the path following the Lord Himself in the wake of the spiritual father of us all, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
For this, then, and for so much more, I express to all of you my deepest gratitude. For someone born in Constantinople – like myself – it is most gratifying indeed to behold your devotion and dedication as Archons of the Throne here in Seattle, even though you may find yourselves almost halfway around the world from the Queen of Cities. Nevertheless, you seamlessly bridge and transcend this vast geographical distance through your unyielding pursuits and unwavering efforts on behalf of the Mother Church.
And so, in an expression abiding thanks, love and appreciation, I would like to raise my glass in your honor this afternoon. May you ever prosper in your lives and be blessed in your families and loved ones.”
The luncheon was generously hosted by Archon Pacific Northwest Regional Commander Isidoros and Maria Garifalakis. Special thanks also go to the Proistamenos of the Church of the Assumption and Metropolis Vicar of the Northwest, Fr. Dean Kouldukis, the Assumption Parish Council and Philoptochos, and the Ginos family.